Increased security is excessive

While safety is important for everyone, citations for minor traffic violations seem unfair.

Destanie Martin-Johnson

The University of Minnesota invested $4 million this year to increase security around campus, with new safety measures including more police officers and additional cameras around the area.  

Remembering all of last year’s crime, I first thought new security would be a great idea. But now my opinion has changed.

Vice President for University Services Pamela Wheelock said informing students about traffic laws is the top priority of campus police officers. Although it is clear that the University wants nothing but safety for its students, it seems like traffic police have been doing more than giving out “warnings” and “information.”

Earlier this week, I needed to cross the Green Line light rail tracks to get across the street. When I got there, the green walk sign had just changed to red. I decided to jaywalk — I know it’s illegal, but in my defense, there were no cars, buses or light rail trains in sight.

A police officer stopped me and asked for identification. By the time the officer
finally came out of the car and abruptly held out a yellow citation for me, I was beyond irritated. Being stopped for jaywalking is one thing, but being given a citation without a warning first is quite another.

Four million dollars is a lot. I feel that the school could be doing more than fining jaywalkers and students, many of whom already have their own financial struggles. I’m more concerned with crimes like robberies and molestations than pedestrian traffic violations.

We want to feel safe, not harassed. I understand that the officers are just trying to do their job and that sometimes they need to be stern in order to enforce the law. That said, doling out pricey jaywalking tickets just doesn’t seem like an effective way to provide the help or the safe environment they were hired for.